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Reformed But Not Tamed
A character who undergoes a Heel Face Turn retains his villainous traits.


(permanent link) added: 2013-02-18 21:46:12 sponsor: 313Bluestreak (last reply: 2013-03-14 19:10:34)

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In fiction, you will see the most nastiest villain of the series who is outright evil and unbelievably mean often to the point of coming across as Complete Monster. Then, he gets defeated by the protagonist and the rest of his crew members. What happens next? He had a change of heart. He became repentant of all the crimes he has committed. And is now is a newest member of the heroes. This is a simple story of a baddie gone good.

Often at times, this doesn't usually has to be the case. When it comes to this trope, a character can go from evil to good and still retain their unpleasant characteristics they had as a villain. There are plenty of reasons for why his behavior is still the same despite changing the alignment. One, the reformed character may still have issues with one or more of the members of the group (particularly The Hero). Two, he is still hung on the ways of a villain and he was sour grapes on how he has changed his ways. Three, he may be just naturally mean due to the abuse of his parents or being picked on by children when he was younger. When it comes to this trope, turning over a new leaf is more complex than people wouldn't want it to be.

Here are the tropes which involve a character changing his alignment, but not his personality:

Very common in a setting of Black and Grey Morality. This is how an Anti-Hero undergoes this development. For that, see Analysis.Anti Hero. This type of character is more likely to become The Hero's lancer. This can often invoke the thought that Humans Are Flawed. Not to be confused with Reformed, but Rejected where a character turns for the better, but others don't acknowledge it.

Regarding to the whole morality thing, No Real Life Examples, Please!.

Examples:

Anime & Manga

Comic Books
  • Exeter from Scion was as a menacing minor villain, but becomes the Big Guy of the main group who is less merciful than Ethan might like.
  • Thugboy and Ninjette from Empowered started as Punch Clock Villains, but also thanks to the influence of the protagonist, they developed into Anti Heroes.
  • Venom, who was a Spider-Man villain, became Anti-Venom, who tries to become The Atoner as well as graduating into a full-fledged Anti-Hero.
  • Batman villainess Catwoman develops into an anti-heroine who often at times teams up with Batman in his missions. Let's not forget about their relationship status.
  • Emma Frost from X-Men started as a villainess who is cold, aloof, arrogant, sociopathic, and likes to underdress. Even if she joins the team, nothing has changed about her attitude and behavior, although she seems to let her coldness melt a little.
  • Deadpool debuted as a mercenary villain in New Mutants and in X-Force. After the events, he still a mercenary, but evolves into a Heroic Comedic Sociopath who only does good deeds not because it was the right thing to do, but because either he felt like it or for selfish motives.

Film

Light Novels
  • Accelerator in A Certain Magical Index killed ten-thousand teenaged girls, but transitions into The Atoner. He will do good to others, but he'll still behave like a utter jerk in doing so.

Literature
  • In A Clockwork Orange, two of the Droogs become policemen after Alex is released from prison and proceed to abuse him when he encounters them.
  • In C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia, Edmund Pevensie is actually somewhat of an Anti-Hero, even after his Heel-Face Turn, because of his constant snarkiness, his death glares and his temptation to beat the crap out of his cousin Eustace. And he's almost always frowning or scowling.
  • As described on Nightside, Razor Eddie, "Punk God of the Straight Razor", is a reformed - but not retired - Serial Killer, who now targets those who threaten children and the homeless. He's been known to leave buildings soaked in blood but conspicuously absent of corpses; the narration calls him "an extremely disturbing agent of good. The forces of good didn't get a say in the matter".

Live-Action TV

Professional Wrestling
  • This is quite common in the professional wrestling world. A good number of wrestlers begun their careers as heels, but were so loved by the fans that they just have to turn face despite still behaving the same way they started. A noticeable example is "Stone Cold" Steve Austin during the rise of his popularity.
  • Wrestlers who previously had a Face-Heel Turn, but then turned back into a face also qualify. The Rock started as a face, but wasn't well received. Then along came his heel turn and a lot of fans were behind him. He turned face after being kicked out of The Corporation, but still continues his backstage bullying and remains as one of the biggest trash-talkers in pro wrestling.

Video Games

Western Animation
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